This past May, we saw a sharp decline in the performance for FAQ rich results across all our customers.
The decline was first noticed on April 5 for FAQ rich results on mobile and subsequently affected results on desktop starting May 4. As a result, the clicks, impressions and CTR for many FAQ rich results dropped.
After monitoring the situation for a few weeks, pages with FAQ rich results have shown little signs of recovery without changes to the content.
What we do know:
- Nothing has changed in terms of Google’s Structured Data requirements and documentation. The FAQ instances remain valid for Google’s rich results on Google Search Console.
- Google is reducing the number of FAQ rich results it is showing. Various SEOs have also noticed this decline, but there hasn’t been any official comment from Google.
- Despite the decline, most of our customers are still achieving FAQ rich results for a number of queries. This is where it gets interesting and where we see an opportunity for optimization.
Opportunity for FAQ optimization
Upon observing this decline, our Customer Success team dug deeper into the FAQ rich results to find potential solutions and recommendations for our customers. We observed that the issue was country and device-agnostic, so we honed in on the queries in Google Search Console to see what might be affecting the performance of the FAQ rich results.
To start, we identified individual pages that saw a decline in FAQ performance but were still awarded the FAQ rich result. For each of these pages, we looked at the top queries that previously achieved an FAQ rich result and compared it to the existing queries that were still achieving an FAQ rich result, and we noticed a trend.
The Schema App Customer Success team discovered that if the frequently asked question on a page did not align with the query, the page would no longer be awarded an FAQ rich result.
For example: Our blog article ‘What is Schema Markup?’ used to get awarded the FAQ rich result for queries such as:
- What is Schema org
- Schema Markup Seo
- Types of Schema Markup
- What is Schema Markup
The questions with the FAQ markup on the article were:
- What is Schema Markup?
- Why is it important to add Schema Markup to your pages?
- What types of Schema Markup are there?
- How can Schema Markup be implemented?
The first two queries – What is Schema org and Schema Markup SEO – that were previously awarded the FAQ rich result did not align with the questions on the blog post.
These two queries saw the largest decline in impressions on Google Search Console after May 4. Even though the page itself is still ranking for that keyword, Google is no longer awarding an FAQ rich result for pages with questions that broadly match or are related to the query.
On the flip side, the last two queries – Types of Schema Markup & What is Schema Markup – aligned with the questions in the article and continued to be awarded the FAQ rich results even after May 4.
Logically, this makes sense. If Google’s main objective is to provide users with the highest quality and relevant search results, showing users FAQs with irrelevant content doesn’t really align with that objective. What this means is that you want to target queries that have a high search volume and relevancy to your audience.
Our Customer Success team is currently working with Schema App customers to update their FAQ content with what the data is showing as targeted queries and measure the impact on their FAQ rich result performance.
If you are looking for ways to optimize the performance FAQ rich results after the April and May decline, you can follow these steps.
- Login to Google Search Console and click on the ‘Search Results’ tab on the left menu bar.
- Review key URLs that have seen a significant decline in FAQ performance but continue to achieve FAQ rich results.
- Look at the queries that have seen a decline after May 4.
- Review FAQ content on your page and check if it is aligned with the search queries that you want to target. If they are not aligned, update your FAQ content on page to align them with your targeted search queries.
As seen in our previous rich result weather reports, Google’s rich results are prone to fluctuations and that is why we emphasize heavily on the importance of diversifying your rich results. As the search engine result page changes, you have to proactively manage your Schema Markup and content to maintain your visibility in search.
At Schema App, our Customer Success team does more than just leverage our tools to author and deploy Schema Markup at scale for our customers. They also utilize Schema Performance Analytics to measure results, observe trends and dive deep into the data to provide recommendations to help our customers grow their organic results.
Martha is the CEO and co-founder of Schema App. Schema App is an end-to-end Schema Markup solution that helps enterprise SEO teams create, deploy and manage Schema Markup to stand out in search. She is an active member of the search engine optimization community, and the work that she does through Schema App is helping brands from all over the world improve their organic search performance.